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  • Weighing The Week Ahead: What Does The End Of QE Mean To The Individual Investor? [View article]

    Jeff,

    Consistently excellent, as usual. My favorite parts were:

    --GDP chart from Todd Sullivan showing the headwind from cuts in government spending. This trend reprises the early 1990s, and is underreported.
    --The Ebola article showing how exposure to bad news on TV hurts our health; sometimes we're better off tuning out. Wow! I'm passing that on...
    --Dr. Brett on stop losses. His posts remind us that all stop-losses are relative: investor's timeframe & risk tolerance; upside/downside potential; security volatility; support/resistance, etc. I wrote about this way back in 2006 in an article called: "Six Steps to Better Stop Losses"
    http://bit.ly/1tzr2hD

    ______________________

    My nominee for the Silver Bullet Award is Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory. He wrote a great article last week that compared stock market pundits on TV to professional wrestlers: Smart and skilled, but entertainers to the core.

    http://bit.ly/1tzr2hF

    Rob
    Nov 3, 2014. 09:44 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Seeking Alpha Is Doing To Prevent Paid Stock Promotion [View article]
    D,

    Your points are well taken, though the challenge remains: How to pay for research?

    A web site that is supported by advertising may be free, but it becomes beholden to advertisers. And a website without any controls at all will become like Yahoo message boards: Worthless junk mixed with occasional nuggets of gold.

    Retail investors have to do their own homework. If not, they have to pay for research or delegate investment management. There is no free lunch in research: Stock analysts and editors have to eat, too.

    : )

    Rob
    Oct 8, 2014. 12:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Active, Passive Or Neither  [View instapost]
    Maurice,
    Thank you for posting this. I look forward to reading the updates.
    Rob
    Sep 19, 2014. 09:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Build A 'Whatever Happens' Portfolio... Now [View article]
    Joseph,
    Thanks for pointing out the importance of customizing the portfolio for the client's individual goals. I'm not sure why so many readers fail to grasp the concept of suitability.
    Rob
    Aug 16, 2014. 12:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Misleading Story About George Soros's Filing [View article]
    Jeff,
    Nice article. I run into this issue all the time studying mutual funds that use options. It is often impossible to tell from disclosures what the net market exposure actually is. Good fund managers will simply report their net long and short positions, and will do performance attribution based on asset class, sector, duration bets, etc. But these are the exception.

    The more important issue, as you note, is misinformation in the media. I would love to read a post about how investors can mitigate the damage from misinformation (because it really IS worse than no information at all). Here are some thoughts with how I deal with it:
    1) Read competing sites (especially on economic and political issues that lend themselves to partisan analysis)
    2) Read less, but more deeply. Scanning the headlines merely baits you into believing things that may or may not be true.
    3) Place a high value on the source of the information. You get an "A" for accuracy. I also trust Marc Gerstein and Brian Gilmartin.
    4) Make sure that the source is writing within their field of expertise.
    5) Look for signs of journalistic integrity and humility (passion for accuracy and a willingness to admit errors)
    6) Pay lots of attention to raw data, when available (Fed data, earnings data, etc.)

    Thanks again,
    Rob

    P.S. I nominate you for the Silver Bullet award this week.
    Aug 16, 2014. 12:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Time For A Market Breakout? [View article]
    Agreed.
    Don't let Jeff's humility fool you--his weekly column is outstanding, and a service to the investment community.
    Rob
    Jun 9, 2014. 07:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Seeking Alpha Is Doing To Prevent Paid Stock Promotion [View article]
    Marc,

    You are 100% correct.

    I have known Marc Gerstein since our days together at Value Line more than two decades ago. He is a professional stock analyst and industry analyst who gets paid for his opinions. You cannot compare a person like Marc to another smart, hard-working person with Excel, a data feed, and a keyboard. The author's experience and knowledge are vital. You cannot separate the author from the content.

    ++Reading WebMD does not make you a doctor.
    ++Watching Perry Mason does not make you a lawyer.
    ++And writing about a stock does not make you a securities analyst.

    And yes, Marc Gerstein is a real person using a real name. My name is Robert J. Martorana, CFA and I own Right Blend Investing. All of my info is 100% public, on my website, and filed the NJ Bureau of Securities.

    Thanks Marc!
    Rob
    Apr 24, 2014. 08:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Review And Outlook Of S&P 500 Earnings, Dividends, And Balance Sheets [View article]
    A reader asked about the difference between corporate earnings reported by FactSet and S&P. The top-down estimates are usually the same from both firms, since top-down estimates come from strategists and economists.

    The bottom-up estimates are different due to adjustments to reported earnings. Here is an S&P article on the topic of operating earnings:

    http://bit.ly/1mwqeau
    Apr 21, 2014. 02:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Springtime Optimism? [View article]
    Howard Silverblatt offered this link: http://bit.ly/1mwqeau

    It appears that S&P earnings are operating earnings, so they may not equal reported earnings. This is an issue for bottom-up earnings estimates, and not for top-down estimates.

    For what it's worth, I used to work at Value Line in the late 1980s, and I had to adjust corporate earnings for non-recurring items. All of the data had to balance out: assets and liabilities; shareholder equity and retained earnings; etc.

    This puts the "T" in tedious.

    Rob
    Apr 21, 2014. 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Springtime Optimism? [View article]
    Howard Silverblatt offered this link: http://bit.ly/1mwqeau

    It appears that S&P earnings are operating earnings, so they may not equal reported earnings. This is an issue for bottom-up earnings estimates, and not for top-down estimates.

    For what it's worth, I used to work at Value Line in the late 1980s, and I had to adjust corporate earnings for non-recurring items. All of the data had to balance out: assets and liabilities; shareholder equity and retained earnings; etc.

    This puts the "T" in tedious.

    Rob
    Apr 21, 2014. 01:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Springtime Optimism? [View article]

    Jeff and Dancing Diva:

    I'm interested in the methodology used by both FactSet and S&P to calculate corporate earnings, so I sent an email to John Butters at Factset and Howard Silverblatt at S&P. I'll keep you posted.

    Rob
    Apr 21, 2014. 01:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hypocrisy in Unilever's Advertising [View instapost]
    Thanks Sandeep.

    I am heartened that someone is finally waking up to their racism and corporate hypocrisy. Unilever markets Dove soap, which takes great pride in their multiracial advertising.

    Hogwash.

    Thanks for your support--glad to help this cause in any way I can.
    Rob
    Rob@RightBlendInvestin...
    Apr 8, 2014. 10:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ukraine Crisis: U.S. LNG Can Help, But Not The Way People Think [View article]
    Zoltan,
    Thank you very much! Based on the EIA data you gave, the liquification + shipping comes to about $2 per btu. I have to convert that to mcf.
    The shippings costs vary, as noted in the article. And the cost of liquification comes from Jensen Associates (according to the footnotes).

    I greatly appreciate this link. I do a lot of work in alternative mutual funds, and consulting to the MF industry. If you need research or networking contacts in alternatives for some reason, I'd be glad to help. My contact info is on my firm's website (I run an RIA in Hillsborough, NJ).
    http://bit.ly/1epAlc0

    Thanks again,
    Rob
    Mar 20, 2014. 09:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ukraine Conflict's Bulls And Bears [View article]
    Agreed. After visiting India I learned that they have a very different flavor of capitalism, shaped by years of colonialism.

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    Mar 19, 2014. 11:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ukraine Conflict's Bulls And Bears [View article]
    I love the metaphor, and I'm tempted to continue it.
    : )

    But I don't think it makes sense to even threaten nukes. Putin would use that threat for his own ends, as an excuse for other "defensive" measures.

    The comparisons to WWII are apt, since Hitler always had a pretext for invasions. And he sounded so reasonable when he wanted to charm the West. Likewise, Putin can sound quite statesmanlike for those who are gullible. It was only a few months ago that he penned the infamous op-ed in the NY Times:

    http://nyti.ms/1nBJHrl;
    Mar 18, 2014. 04:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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